LOS ANGELES – UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero announced today that assistant head coach B.J. Snow has been named the new head coach of the UCLA women’s soccer program effective immediately. The move comes following the departure of Jillian Ellis who, after 12 very successful seasons in Westwood, has decided to embark on a new phase of her career by accepting the job of Youth Women’s National Team Development Director for U.S. Soccer. Snow becomes the fourth head coach in program history, following Joy Fawcett (1993-97), Todd Saldana (1998) and Ellis (1999-2010).
“I am thrilled to announce that B.J. Snow will guide our heralded women’s soccer program,” said Guerrero. “B.J. is an outstanding coach and has played a major role in the incredible achievements of our program over the past five years, clearly demonstrating a passion for UCLA and an unsurpassed desire to excel. B.J.’s integrity, knowledge of the game and recruiting acumen are all qualities that will make him very successful as our head coach. On a personal level, B.J. is an exemplary leader who connects with student-athletes and strongly supports UCLA’s commitment to academic achievement and service to the community. In total, I am confident that B.J. will carry on the legacy of excellence that has defined UCLA women’s soccer under Jill Ellis.”
Senior associate athletic director Ken Weiner, who oversees women’s soccer at UCLA, added “Jill has established a great tradition at UCLA and we certainly thank her for her contributions and wish her well with U.S. Soccer. Our program is in great hands with B.J. at the helm. He has been instrumental in our recruiting success over the past few years and was a key factor in four consecutive appearances in the College Cup. The transition will be seamless.”
Snow, who arrived at UCLA in 2006, is widely regarded as one of the top coaching talents in America. He quickly rose through the coaching ranks in Westwood, going from volunteer assistant to full-time coach in the span of just one year. He was then promoted to assistant head coach in 2009. During his time at UCLA, the Bruins have compiled a record of 97-18-7, reaching the NCAA College Cup from 2006-09. UCLA also won consecutive Pac-10 titles from 2006-08.
Snow has stepped into the head coaching role for Ellis on several occasions, most recently in the spring of 2010 when she was away coaching the Under-20 U.S. Women’s National Team. His contributions also go beyond the playing field, as he has taken an active role in recruiting the last several years, helping UCLA notch top 5 classes in each of his five seasons on staff.
In addition to his efforts at UCLA, Snow has also been involved with U.S. Soccer for several years, serving as an assistant coach with the Under-20 Women’s National Team. He has also been brought in by U.S. Soccer to serve as a clinician at a number of coaching seminars.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to represent the UCLA family as the head women’s soccer coach,” said Snow. “Over the last five years I have been very fortunate to have been exposed to the expectations of being a part of such a prestigious university and an athletic department that are both committed to excellence. My goal is to continue to create a vision that focuses on the excellence of performance and to provide an environment that will allow our student-athletes the best opportunity to reach their goals both on the soccer field an in the classroom. I would also like to thank Jill for all of her guidance and mentorship over the last five years and wish her the best of luck in her new endeavor.”
A four-year starter on defense at national power Indiana from 1996-99, Snow helped the Hoosiers capture four-straight Big Ten titles, including back-to-back national championships in 1998 and 1999. Indiana’s record during his time in Bloomington was an impressive 81-8-3.
Ellis’ tenure in Westwood marked a major shift for women’s soccer at UCLA, as the program went from a West Coast power to national title contender almost immediately. Just one year after taking the job in 1999, Ellis guided UCLA to the 2000 NCAA Final. Her efforts that season earned her NSCAA National Coach of the Year honors. She would go on to lead UCLA to seven-straight NCAA College Cup appearances from 2003-09, joining North Carolina’s Anson Dorrance as the only other coach to reach seven-straight Final Fours. In addition to the team’s march to the title match in 2000, Ellis led UCLA to the NCAA Final in both 2004 and 2005. The Bruins nearly claimed the program’s first title in 2004, narrowly falling to Notre Dame in the first-ever championship decided by penalty kicks.
“Jill has been a tremendous part of the success of UCLA Athletics during her 12 year stint as head coach,” said Guerrero. “However, this new position with U.S Soccer is a fantastic opportunity and an ideal match for her skills and talents. I could not be happier for her. Congratulations to Jill and I wish her all the best in this exciting endeavor.”
“Today is so bittersweet for me,” said Ellis. “While I am excited and energized for the new challenges ahead with U.S. Soccer, it is also sad to depart an amazing university with so many wonderful friendships and memories. UCLA has been my home for the past 12 years, and college soccer my life for more than 21 years, but I am ready to help U.S. Soccer in its commitment to continue the evolution of the women’s game.”
Ellis leaves UCLA with a record of 229-45-14 (.819). Her career coaching record, which includes two seasons at the University of Illinois, stands at 248-63-14 (.785). In addition to her success at the national level, Ellis led UCLA to a total of seven Pac-10 Championships. She was twice named Pac-10 Coach of the Year (2003 and 2007).
“I want to thank Dan Guerrero and Ken Weiner for their support and leadership during my time here,” added Ellis. “The Bruin Family will forever be a part of me. To the players past and present, I leave with a heavy but full heart. Each and every one of you has touched my life. I know that the future of the program will be in excellent hands. I want to thank B.J. and Louise (Lieberman) for extending the tradition of excellence that was established in our program. They have been integral in the success of our team and their contribution has been invaluable.”